Home > Archive: May, 2022
Archive for May, 2022
May 31st, 2022 at 10:54 pm
I can't believe gas is at $5.89 a gallon. I think I may have to increase our gas budget again. I'd already doubled it from $100 per month to $200 per month, but now may need to go up to $250. Even if we don't end up needing it for the cars, DH will start fishing soon and need to pay for his portion of the gas for the boat. They try to take as many people out as the boat allows, so the gas costs can be split between more people. That's more important than ever now.
I also need to add a fishing license cost into the next budget I make up, which reminds me, I need to do a budget for June. I like to be prepared in advance, and usually I would have done this after filling in the budget for the first paycheck of May. But it has been a busy, busy month and I didn't get around to it.
My Fitbit is acting up. It has been for a couple of months now, usually after I go in the pool and submerge it, but also the last couple of times I've showered with it on. It's one made for swimming, but it is also several years old so maybe the water is starting to leak in. At first it was only freezing it on the clock for a couple of days afterwards while it dried out, but now it isn't giving me even that. I can still check my steps on my phone, so that part is working, but I use it as a watch just as much as a step counter, because it is a pain to pull out my phone to see the time. Plus the text messages I get show up on the Fitbit. Or did. I've tried to reboot it several times, and at first it worked, but now it is a no go.
So now I need to price out new Fitbits and see how much it will cost to replace it with one that can go in the water. I also need to get a new memory card for the new used camera. I have $100 in my allowance folder, and can share the memory card out of my handheld back and forth for now, but that is a pain long-term. I gave one of the kids my old memory card for their game machine when the old camera went belly-up. I need the new Fitbit first, I think, but it depends on how long it will cost for me to save up for it. I have no idea what they run now. The last one was $100 and I doubt they have nothing in that price range these days.
At least my phone is in good working order. Knock on wood.
Organize My Life,
Is Budget a Four Letter Word?
2 Comments »
May 31st, 2022 at 02:36 am
Last night about two hours before sunset, I got my plants in. DH grabbed one of the wrong types of tomatoes. I wanted two Early Girls and a Roma, but he got one Early Beefsteak. I don't buy beefsteak tomatoes because they always take so long to produce here. Same reason I don't buy Brandywines. I've tried them once or twice and they basically start turning red in October, so they take up a lot of garden space with little production. But I've never seen an early beefsteak before so hopefully it will produce earlier in the season.
I wish I had more space to grow tomatoes, but with the way everything is going so slowly, I'm not even sure we'll get green beans in on time. I got my peppers in, then planted basil in what will be the understory of the other plants. I put the blue Veronica and the Red Rock Yarrow in front of the cosmos. I don't know how big the Veronica will get, but I know the Cosmos will get taller than the yarrow, and if the Veronica gets bigger than that I will have to transplant it elsewhere. I have enough space for one more flower to fit in, it just has to be one that deer hate, like the others I've done so far.
After that I planted my green and yellow zucchinis. I planted them at the distance of their mature size. Too often in the past I've crowded them because the space is so big and it looks naked until the zucchini grows, but crowded plants slows down production and sometimes will block sunlight to the plants that weren't as big as some of the others. So this year I am giving them room and making sure they are far enough from the cucumbers that they don't block the light to them. That was a big problem last year. Even after a lifetime of gardening, I still find myself learning things.
I had to look up when to harvest garlic, since my garlic stalks are so tall. I found out that each leaf represents the outside paper for the bulb, so if there are ten leaves there will be ten layers of paper to protect all the cloves inside. I've never had great luck with garlic in the past, but I planted it at the right time in the fall and it has done beautifully, growing like it was in an Alaskan summer with 20 hours of sunlight a day.
My onions are coming along nicely, too. They are not quite ready to start bulbing, but I see a little swelling near the bottom of the stock, so maybe another week or two. And I think the bunching onions will be ready to start harvesting pretty soon.
Oh, and another fun fact I found out. Elephant garlic isn't true garlic. It's actually a leek. Isn't that weird? Because it bulbs like garlic and tastes like garlic, but it isn't garlic. I think that is kind of cool. Just one of those facts you stumble upon when searching for other aspects of garlic.
We didn't get the zucchini cages made yesterday as DH went down hard last night with the head cold. He's not doing the greatest today, but he slept all night. He said he will manhandle the fencing wire over to where I need it and he'll help me form the curves, but that may not be until tomorrow. I am hoping for tonight, but I am not going to push him as I know how bad the first two days of this cold can be. And even though I am somewhat better, I still fell asleep for 3 hours in the middle of the day, so I am leaving it up to him.
I do have to at least water. Even though the soil was very moist when I planted, and the plants were wet from being watered at the nursery and store, I would like to get a good drenching on everything. We've had light sprinkles, but as my grandfather always told my mother, a farmer can't count on the rain to water deep enough.
The drip hoses I ordered arrived in the mail on Saturday, so each bed will now have a 50 foot hose in it, which is enough to go down, cross the back, go back up, and then across the front and then I will attach a hose to it to go to the faucet, which has a four way hose splitter. That way I can do the three 22 foot long beds and then set up a sprinkler for the strawberries. We will run a hose from the other side of the house to set up a sprinkler for the potatoes. The blackberries already have a drip hose on them and uses the hose from the back of the house as well. So we should be set for watering with as little difficulty as possible.
Emergency Living and Preperations,
5 Comments »
May 30th, 2022 at 12:01 am
I spent $142 on garden stuff yesterday. The welded wire tomato cages were the most expensive items. I had hoped to make it back there before the turquoise cages were gone. I would have bought a couple last time I was there, but they were all zip-tied together and they were closing in ten minutes, and it was too much of a hassle. So I got two yellow ones and two hot pink ones in the smaller size. I use these on peppers not tomatoes anyway. It is just so windy here during May and June that the cages help keep the plants from being blown over. They were pricey.
I was able to find a jalapeño plant, but they were out of bells. They had cayenne, but I had one of those already along with 1 bell. They had serrano and poblano, but I'm not growing any other spicy peppers this year. There were no Anaheims. I just wasn't able to get over there when I needed to. But I was able to pick up 4 gold rush zucchini plants and 2 of the regular green ones, 4 cucumbers, 2 Early Girl tomatoes, and 1 Joe's best Roma. I have 1 million pears already. I also picked up four big sweet basil plants, decided not to get a Thai basil plant because the three they had looked very stressed.
After that I looked for some flowers. As much as I wanted to get a couple flats of petunias, I have no place to plant those. I ended up getting a 1/2 gallon pot of Veronica, which is a deep blue perrenial (unless it goes to 10 degrees, which might happen once every ten years or so, and a deep red yarrow. Deer don't like either of those flowers so I will plant them with my zucchini. The prices of starts have gone way up this year. Next year I really have to start my own. I have the grow lights and I have the station set up, I just haven't done it. I have all the seeds and everything.
After that we went over to the grocery store that carries plants from the same nursery and found 3 Better Belles in 1/2 gallon pots. Better Belles are not my favorite type of bell pepper. I feel like Northstar performs better here, but I waited too long and these are my choices if I want plants from a no-spray source and not a big box store. I may yet check the food co-op, because they will often have things later than others and they are organic from another source. I might find an Anaheim that way, but if not it is not a deal breaker.
That about did me in, just going to those two places, since I was still not doing that great, but again, I wore my mask, and DH handled the money and picked up the plants, so I didn't touch anything and I wasn't passing anything along to anybody. Plus I had a negative Covid home test, so I think I'm okay. We can't not ever go out with a head cold again, after all. If I waited any longer there would have been nothing but flowers, herbs, and lettuces left.
I didn't plant anything yesterday, but I sat out in the fresh air and under the lightly overcast sky while DH put in another row of potatoes and then hilled up soil on the other four rows we planted before we left. Those five rows were all the seed potatoes I purchased. This morning DH put in two more rows before I got up. These were the Kennebecs and Russets that I planted last year and saved for seed this year. He's still got some more of that to do and then I have some grocery store potatoes that have sprouted as well that are golds. I'll have to check the other potatoes I bought two weeks ago, too. Everything that can go in the ground, will go in the ground.
After all the potatoes I have get planted, I will plant the sweet potato plants that I've been growing in water for 3 months. One of the vines goes all the way up to the top of the window, so now that it is warm enough to plant those I want to get them in the ground.
I still have to plant the plants I bought yesterday and the put a wire cover over the zucchini and cucumbers. I have to make the wire cover, though. We have the welded wire fencing and the wire cutter, which is one I can operate with my arthritic hands, but the fencing is so heavy DH will have to help with it, since DS has come down with the cold.
I think I'm about at 60%, so I still need to take it easy and get enough sleep, but I definitely turned the corner yesterday and I think tomorrow, if I stay on this projectory will be about 70%. I have physical therapy on Tuesday. I won't make the decision on going or not until Monday around 3:00. If I still feel sick then, I will cancel, because I have to touch too many things that others have to touch.
The cottonwood has started blooming and blowing its fluff balls all over the place, so it's hard to tell how much of the congestion is from my allergy to that and how much is left from the cold. Either way, it is not helping.
DH is out running around trying to find a pharmacy that has Adderall that doesn't have blue dye. DS is allergic to blue dye. Walgreens is out in the whole county, so he was going to try one of the Rite Aids and have them call around to the others and then he'll try the Haggen pharmacies, then Costco, Fred Meyer, and Wal*Mart. Hopefully he can find them, since DS left it to the last minute to tell us he needed it.
When he gets back I will plant my plants, since they are still in the back of the van.
Medical Issues and Spending,
Towards Healthier Living
1 Comments »
May 29th, 2022 at 01:18 am
Tuesday night after dinner we headed towards Seattle, but our hotel was in Lynnwood. We stayed at a Hilton. Let's just say it was not the best experience. We get up to our suite and the door didn't unlock. So my daughter and I are both left standing in the hallway while DH runs down to get the keys redone. Standing is hard for both of us because we both have degenerative discs at the L-4 and L-5. So does my mom so we think it is hereditary.
So DH comes back up with the keys again and it's still a no go. And we can hear people inside who are very loud for 11:30 at night at a hotel. So we figured it was locked from the inside and someone had gone into our suite who wasn't supposed to be in there. DH runs down again and tells them someone is in suite.
Meanwhile, I am just about ready to cry from the pain. So the front desk calls security and gives us an empty room across the hall. One room, not a suite, but at least they were King size beds and had a fridge and microwave. We reserved two rooms because I don't like sleeping in the same bed as DH. He has restless legs and every movement or noise wakes me up. It is horrible. It felt like he was trying to pedal a bicycle next to me whenever we do.
So they booted the people out of the suite, but of course they had messed it up. The bed clothes were off the beds, they'd used all the towels to clean up a spill. There was honey on the floor and it reeked of alcohol. There was no way to clean that up for us since there was no housekeeping until morning.
Needless to say I slept very poorly. My fit bit says I managed 1 hour and 25 minutes. The hotel breakfast was really good, though. They had eggs, ham, sausage, potatoes, biscuits and gravy, blueberry and banana nut muffins, English muffins, bagels, cream cheese, toast, packets of peanut butter and jelly, 4 types of cereal, two of which were healthy, milk apple juice, orange juice, fruit punch, various teas, and 4 grind it on the spot coffees. Oh, and 2 waffle makers. So lots of options to choose from. I just had eggs, ham, and a small amount of potatoes, with milk. I seldom drink milk but it sounded good that morning.
DD's first appointment with the ENT went well. She does not have a 95% deviated septum like the previous ENT claimed. She has a mild deviation that isn't worth correcting as it is not what was causing her problems. She has very, very fraglie blood vessels close to the surface that keep bursting. He put a scope up there and I got to watch on the computer and you could see where the vessles had been bursting. It looked nasty. So he did electric cauterization, which is different from burning it somehow and last longer and is far more effective. Hopefully that will put an end to the nosebleeds for a good six months.
After that appointment we went to Duke's seafood restaurant. It was nice, but casual nice. We got chowders and sour dough bread with real butter. It was delcious and light after having breakfast only a couple hours earlier. Then we headed back to Virginia Mason for DD's second appointment with the endocrinologist. By the time we were done, both of us were dragging.
Then we went back to the hotel and ordered dinner from Red Lobster, since there is one in Lynnwood. I got the ultimate feast but they forgot the Walt's favorite shrimp and there was an extra linguine. It worked out to the same price and I had plenty off food so we just let it go. I had just figured I'd have some for breakfast, but no biggie. I wouldn't get the crispy Brussels sprouts for a side there, though. They were mushy and super spicy, not crispy at all. And they had the dinkiest baked potato I have ever seen from a restaurant. But again, it was enough food. The forgot the clarified butter, though for the crab and lobster. *sighs*
After dinner DD and I both felt like we got hit by a freight train. I mean, it was full on cold symptoms just bowling us over. DH ran out to a Walgreens and got us Dayquil and Nyquil. I slept better that night, but only 5 hours. I wish I had insisted on bringing my wedge. I do better when I sleep propped up, but DH didn't want the hassle. Next time he is going to have the hassle.
Neither DD or I felt good enough to have breakfast the next morning, so DH ate the extra linguine and we headed back to Virginia Mason and saw the internal medicine doctor who specializes in chronic illnesses. It went well and we really liked her. I know we shouldn't have gone into a doctor's office with a head cold, but we were both masked and this appointment was too important to miss. So, yeah, I feel guilty, but it is not like it is Covid and people have been going to doctors for years with colds or other infections.
We headed home after that. We picked up some water bottles and Pringles at a convenince store because DD and I were craving salt and feeling very dehydrated. Somewhere along the way DH stopped at a McDonalds and we got some food. Not a lot for DD and me as we didn't have much appetite. I got a cup of ice, though, as we had a case of Real Sugar Pepsi in the car. I don't drink it often, but I was barely staying awake.
I went straight to bed when we got home. DH went and got me and DD ice cream. I ate some and then went to sleep and had a wonderful nights sleep on a bed that doesn't have springs you can feel through the bed (or springs at all) and my nice wedge pillow. I slept very well, dosed up on cold meds. I spent most of Friday in bed, had some potatoes and gravy for lunch and a sandwich for dinner. Today I feel a little better after another great night of sleep. So does DD. Still very tired, stuffed up, and throats a little sore. And the cottonwood is blooming. But definitely on the mend. I think it'll be a few days before I feel back to normal again.
DH's mom covered the hotel stay and every meal, except Red Lobster, because we felt that was too expensive for her to cover. She's very good with taking care of our travel expenses when DD has to go the hospital.
The main point I am taking away from all of this is that we won't be staying in a Hilton hotel again. Next time we'll try for a VRBO. Or maybe a Mariott. At least they have good beds.
Medical Issues and Spending
2 Comments »
May 27th, 2022 at 07:45 pm
I was willing to look at the retirement accounts today and to do the math, now that the 401K is in recovery. The poor IRA, not so much, but at least it quit freefalling. The contribution from today's paycheck to the 401K has not yet been made yet. So, the reckoning. As of today the retirement accounts have lost $2,017.92 this year and pretty much ate up all of our contributions. I know we have more stock, but until that stock is worth something, it means very little. Our new retirement total is $73,086.69.
However, the contribution of company stock hit today, so our total net worth has gone up. Our new net worth is $149,542.88. It's weird to see it sitting that close to $150K. If nothing goes down by the time our 401K contribution is made from this paycheck it will hit that next week. It's so close I can taste it. It would be a major milestone in a year that has otherwise been pretty horrible financially.
1 Comments »
May 22nd, 2022 at 03:03 am
Today I ordered a used Canon Powershot Elph digital camera off Amazon. It's a gorgeous shade of purple and after my last one broke (blue), I told myself if I ever found a purple one, I'd get it. I do have a handheld video camera that can take photos, but it isn't the best at it. It takes good video, though. My phone is a better camera than it.
So I've been waiting and waiting and finally one came up refurbished from the Canon Store on Amazon. I wasn't going to pay $400 or more for a new one. It comes with a battery and charger, although I have two batteries and two chargers already so that would have never been a deal breaker. Now I can take fairly nice photos again on a proper tripod. I paid $167.98.
Appliance Antics and Household Purchases,
2 Comments »
May 20th, 2022 at 03:52 am
Gas hit $5.29 a gallon cash price and ten cents more for credit cards. Diesel hit $5.49 per gallon. So the cost of food will go up even higher now. I hope you all have been paying attention to me for the last couple of years, but especially this year, when I told you to stock up on food, meds, and personal care items. I have not been wrong about this yet and it is going to get worse before it gets better.
Did you know that in Washington state they are uncovering an extra digit on the big digital gas signs with the amounts on them, because they are anticipating $10/gallon gas coming up? Some gas stations have run out of gas entirely. I hope they suspend the gas taxes here like they have in other states. We are not a living wage city for the most part and we are sprawled so it is not easy to get across the city on a bicycle or on foot and the climate is not conducive to it most of the year. The bus system is already packed and they don't have enough buses to run anymore of them, so they can't just add more runs.
Some of the McDonalds in my state are starting to offer $20/hour to help offset gas prices so employees can get to work. And you know what that means, right? The food there is going to go up to compensate. And it will go up to compensate higher delivery costs because of the gas prices. It's a vicious circle spiraling ever higher and out of control.
The same thing is going on at grocery stores and stuff clearly isn't getting delivered on time so sits in the warehouses too long and gets put out on the shelves when it shoud be chucked out. And we get to go through rotten, moldy produce to hopefully find something edible, when two years ago we would have turned our noses up at the very thought.
Meanwhile our infrastructure crumbles, our manufacturing isn't done at home so shortages abound, the Fed prints money out of air that we can't back up, and raises interest rates causing inflation to get worse, the stock market tanks, and our administration does whatever it can to sucker punch our energy independence over and over again and then blames the last year and a half on Putin and not their own policies.
Dustbowl states believe a new Dustbowl type of situation is coming and the lack of fertilizer won't help. There's too much rain except where their is too much drought. Basic supplies and animal feed are in short supply, meaning meat prices will go up a lot more and many will not be able to afford it anymore. Welcome to being a second world country, America, where you can't even find baby formula. If things don't change soon, this is the beginning of the New Great Depression, make no mistake.
Off on a Tangent
5 Comments »
May 19th, 2022 at 01:06 am
Last night was rough. I did a lot of new exercises at physical therapy and even though it was in the pool it totally kicked my butt. 45 minutes of non-stop exercise was only possible with the decreased gravity. By the time I got home everything hurt so bad. I made it halfway to the house before I had to sit down in the chair at the bottom of the ramp and put the bag down. It was so heavy with a wet towel and suit in there. And I forgot my phone so I couldn't call DH to come out and get me. So I sat there about ten minutes until I could go into the house and send DH out for my bag. That's how weak I was.
I wasn't able to move my arms enough to make dinner. They just felt like lead. It felt like a full on fibro flare with the RA kicking in just for fun. So we got Mexican. I had a single tostada de ceviche. They make it with tiger shrimp and it is really good with lots of tomatoes and onions. And then I had a rectangle from a chicken quesadilla. I also got 1 beef enchilada with rice, but I was too exhausted to eat it, so it went in the fridge for today. I figured I would be able to eat it all since I hadn't eaten all day (yes, bad, I know). And the rest of the family only ate 1 triangle each of the quesadilla, so there are still two left which I will probably have for lunch tomorrow. We spent $80 for the four of us.
I took a hot shower after dinner and that helped, but DH had to come wash my hair since I wasn't able to lift my arms above my head. I still had a good bit of pain going on so I took half a hydrocodone and it knocked me out and when I woke up I felt a lot better. I can still feel some soreness, but it is just muscle soreness and not fibro. It hurts to raise my hands above my head, but I can.
The hands still hurt, but they always do after a lot of work. And not near as much as yesterday as I am typing fairly easily. I will probably have to avoid that exercise in the future due to how hard it was on my hands. It was using a mini-kickboard, holding it upright underwater, and pulling it towards me and pushing it away. It builds the core, but so do a lot of other things, so we'll figure something out. I have PT again on Friday so we can talk about it then.
I am able to make dinner tonight so we have steaks thawing. I am going to cook the steaks rare and have green beans, and French fries. It's a fairly simple dinner. If my hands were better I'd be making fried potatoes, but French fries will have to do. I have been making a lot more meals, but yesterday just threw me for a loop. I will be making a crockpot meal on Friday so that I won't have to worry about making dinner when I get back from PT, it will just be there and ready. We have beef ribs which work really well with low and slow cooking, so I will just throw them in there with some potatoes and sweet potatoes and then all that will need to be done when I get home is micro-steam a bag of broccoli.
DS and I went out to "shop" the freezer and brought in some steaks and roasts, Canadian bacon, and a pack of hotdogs. I only had 16 pounds of butter, so I need to do a major stock up. Last year I bought 60 pounds of butter and 8 of those in there were bought recently, so we went through a pound of butter a week, so I guess I planned pretty well. I like spring and summer butter when the cows are on green grass and not hay. I get grass fed butter and there is a world of difference between that and conventional, but also between summer and winter butter.
DS and I need to do an inventory of what is out there and of what is in the mini-chest freezer. It is easy to see what is in the upright. I need to see what we need to eat through and how much space we will have in the house and how much we will have in the garage. I know some of what is in there is crab bait chicken and turkey breast and that will be out of there as soon as the dungeness season starts. They have freezer burn, so this is a great way of not wasting the meat. It'll get us through the season and it sure beats buying crab bait, especially at today's prices.
I had regular therapy today and we talked about how I don't like change and how I want to cut my hair and I've wanted to cut it since before the pandemic and things have been open and without masks for quite some time, but I don't do it. Part of it was my salon went out of business, but something else was affecting me and I knew it. So she asked if anything from my childhood might be affecting me and I realized that Mom made me get pixie cuts when I was a kid, because she didn't want to deal with the work of longer hair. I wasn't allowed to choose my own hair cut until I was in the third grade and then I grew it long.
And even though I have had it short at various times in my life it was because I wanted to. Now it is below my waist and full of damage and i need to get it cut. And you know what? My mom keeps saying that I need to get it cut. Constantly. And I haven't, because I still resent her very much for forcing me to have a style of hair that I hated for so many years. Or that one time she made me get a perm.
So, now that I realize the only reason I am not doing it is to spite her, I think I can finally get past this and cut my hair to a couple inches below my shoulders and be done with it. I've found a salon after much looking, so all I need to do is call tomorrow and schedule an appointment.
It's good for me to be able to realize what this is and get through it. This is not the only aspect of my life that Mom affects this way, unfortunately. And all of it relates back to having no bodily auntonomy when I was younger. So steps were taken today to help me realize this and I feel a lot lighter.
Alright, well I better get to making dinner now that the steaks have sat out for an hour and are at room temp. Then after dinner I will work in the garden a little. Instead of getting a whole load of dirt, I've realized that we have a bunch of totes that we were growing in for the last two years that have dirt in them. I weeded several of them yesterday and I managed to screen all the dirt in one to pull out roots and other things, like the peanuts our crazy squirrel couple bury all over the place. Two of the peanuts have roots on them, so I put them in a large pot and we will see what becomes of them.
Last year there was one that grew and actually formed some peanuts. Of course, I didn't know what it was until I'd pulled it out and it didn't take to being replanted and died. I didn't even know peanuts could grow here, but apparently they can. And these one's hadn't formed any other nuts on them so they have a better chance. I'll have to look up their needs to see if they need special care and make sure I planted them at the right depth.
Okay, really going now.
Towards Healthier Living,
Weight Loss and Exercise
4 Comments »
May 17th, 2022 at 06:28 am
Honestly, I thought it was going to hurt writing such a large check. Nearly $6000 is a lot of money. But I felt really okay with it. Having my son's teeth fixed will be worth it. He had his appointment today where they did x-rays, took photos, and did some kind of scan of his teeth with a tool. On June 20th he will get his full set of Invisaligns. I didn't know he would get all of them at once, but he will. You move onto the next set every ten days. It's different, but seems so much more convenient than traditional braces.
I would, one day, like to get this for myself as my teeth have moved since I had an appliance to fix my bite. My teeth were always straight and I never had a gap, but over the last ten years or so I've had a gap between my top front teeth that is getting bigger and bigger. And I have a couple of teeth on the bottom that seem to be pushing forward a bit. They aren't visible so they don't bother me so much, but I don't like being in photos because of the gap in my front teeth. So I avoid it. But I want my kids to have photos of me when I'm gone, so I've thought about fixing them for a while. But that was back burnered when DS needed to get them.
I feel like I'm always give stuff up for my kids (but mostly my daughter). Probably because I am. I guess that is motherhood in a nutshell, though, always sacrificing your own needs or wants for theirs. And for my mother as well. I think I am getting caregiver burnout. I really just want to run away for a while. I think I need to go down by the water and soak up the negative ions and just let myself read a book for a couple of hours. It would do me a world of good.
Medical Issues and Spending
4 Comments »
May 15th, 2022 at 11:00 pm
We have almost got the third 22 feet long by 3 feet wide by 2 feet high raised bed completed. We worked on it last night and then this morning in the rain. It was supposed to be nasty all day, but of course the sun came out a 1/2 an hour ago. We got the steer manure in and then used up the rest of the garden soil mix from GroSource. Unfortunately the are not open on Sundays so we will have to wait until tomorrow to pick up another pickup truck load.
DH priced it all out and while a 1/2 a load (about what we'd need) is $30, a whole load is $40. If we did bagged soil from the garden center, it would cost $60. So we decided to go with the $40 option. It will all get used eventually. So DH will get some on his lunch hour and then we will have it for Tuesday, which is supposed to be the next nice day.
We discoverd a way for me to help with moving soil in the garden. If I sit next to the wheel barrow, I can use an old feed scoop to move the dirt into the raised bed. I feel useful again.
On the last nice day, DH and I cut the climbing rose bush down to waist high. That probably took off half the height of it. So he did the lopping off of branches and I cut them up into smaller pieces and put them in the wheelbarrow. Then we used them in the raised bed. We put about a two inch layer of garden soil down and then spread a bale of old, rotting hay down, and then the rose clippings, and then layered garden soil on top until we were six inches from the top of the bed, and put down a two inch layer of composted steer manure, and then topped it off with more garden soil. I like doing a lot of biological inputs.
So we got it all the way up to the top for the first 2/3rds of the bed. I was able to plant the one tomato plant I picked up, which is Million Pears, a yellow grape type tomato. I've had it in the past and it was prolific plant. Then I planted my eggplant. I forget the type but it is one of the long, skinny Asian varieties. I figured I'd give it a go. Then I planted the orange blaze bell pepper and the cayenne pepper. That's all I've bought so far. I am going to do three more tomato plants, probably Early Girl or Big Boy, maybe a Yellow Boy if they still have them. I don't know. I'm only doing four this year, but I will focus on fertilizing on a schedule, so should get better production. Then I want to get a jalapeño, an Anaheim, and a couple of bell peppers. Possibly a poblano, but no serranos this year.
The rest of the bed will be zucchini, but I will put some calendula between the tomatoes and zucchini to encourage pollinators to come into the garden. I will probably tuck basil into the understory of the tomatoes and between the peppers. We'll see. It is too cold to plant basil or zucchini yet. I need the nights to be at least 50 and they've been running in the 40's. Either that or I'd have to put cloches over the plants or some kind of green house plastic hoop thing. It is too cold for May. The rain is pretty normal, it's one of the main reasons we use raised beds, for drainage, but usually we'd be having temps in the low 60's during the day and 50 at night, not low 50's during the day and 40's at night.
Even if I have to build 3 foot to 7 foot (for the tomatoes) tall hoop tunnels for everything in the raised beds, I will. We need a great harvest this year, not just a good one, what with the state of produce in the stores and food shortages.
The garlic is doing fantastic, the best I've ever had garlic do, and the onions are starting to get bigger. They were itty bitty when I planted them, thinner than a blade of grass. But each one has gotten bigger than that and I see a third blade starting to form on some of them. I have planted enough onions, that I shouldn't have to buy much for the next year. They are good keeper varieties, except the Walla Walla's which I will freeze. And if the others get close to sprouting, then I will cut them up at that point and freeze them.
There are lots of flowers on the strawberries, so I think we will have a good year there. I hope so. I want to freeze a lot. I'll go to the berry farm if I have to, though. They freeze in one or two gallon buckets. The blackberries are coming up very nicely from the bottom, but we need to get all the weeds away from them. I can see the start of itty bitty green berries on the blueberry plants. The raspberries are getting tall. The apple tree is in full blossom and it is gorgeous. And the plum trees did flower this year and there wasn't a storm during the days they flowered, so hopefully that means lots of fruit, because there were tons of blossoms. It would sure makeup for the nothing of last summer.
We are still prepping the potato plot. We'll be harvesting in October again, but it doesn't usually freeze until Halloween here. Then we'll move on to the area for green beans. As long as we get them in before mid-July we will have plenty to can. I am growing blue coco pole beans. They are a purple colored green bean that turns green when cooked or canned. I have found that the beans are a lot easier to find than green on green and I misplaced my Kentucky Wonder pole bean seeds, anyway.
I wish it would just warm up so I can get on with it. I also want to plant the sweet potato slips I've been growing, but it needs to be much warmer. One of them is so long that we have it propped on some cup hooks to keep it out of the way. They are in the window above the kitchen sink and have a tendency to want to go into the sink. It'll be my first year growing sweet potatoes. I wanted to do it last year then herniated those discs instead. I did grow my own slips this year for the first time from a sprouted sweet potato so that was interesting.
Not much else going on here. I did the banking and the bills on Friday and then bought produce and shrimp and that was it. I'm still not looking at the retirement accounts. I don't want to know.
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May 10th, 2022 at 06:58 am
I haven't bought much in the way of clothes since before the pandemic and most of what I've bought since it started was underclothes. My daughter and I both were sorely in need of some new clothes, me so more than her. I've been sewing up a lot of seams. Woman Within has been having a 50% off on most items this week and today was the last day of the sale, so I bit the bullet and bought.
For myself I got 4 tank tops, 1 t-shirt, 1 blouse, 3 shorts with pockets, 1 sundress and 1 short-sleeved dress, and a swimsuit. I color coordinated the tops with the shorts, plus I have a black pair and a navy pair already that haven't worn out, so those will go with everything, too. DD got 5 t-shirts (she got tank tops last year and won't wear shorts), 1 dress, and 1 swim top, since her swim bottoms are still okay. Only her dress and my swimsuit were not on the 50% off sale. Shipping and handling and taxes brought the total to $644.48. Without those it was $543.31. I think we did fairly well for plus size clothing.
The swimsuit I have is fine for going in the hot tub or the ocean when I'm not around people except DH, but I always have to wear a shirt if I'm up close with people in a pool or lake because it's a bit low cut, as most suits with good bra support are, and that cuts down my mobility. But when you are having physical therapy in a swimming pool, and the male therapist is standing above you on the deck, it makes me uncomfortable.
I finally found a higher scoop neck suit that does not have crisscross straps in the back and still has a built in bra. I can't put on or take off crisscross straps or suits that fasten behind the neck due to the rheumatoid arthritis in my shoulders. I've looked for years for a suit like this. And as I get older I find my modesty has increased, so this will be my public suit and the other will be for private.
It will be nice to have some new dresses. My favorite dress has faded after so many years of washing, plus it is heavy weight for a sundress. It also has ties and again, because of my shoulders, I cannot tie behind my back anymore or untie it, either. So that puts me down to one wearable summer dress in my current size. I have no winter dresses, although I used to wear the faded one with a turtle neck or sweater and some leggings in the cold season. And the one is very loosy goosy so it will be easy to wear over my swimsuit and then to put on again after physical therapy.
It was a big spend and I still would like to get two more t-shirts, but I really couldn't find any styles or patterns I liked and I didn't want to get the same pattern on a t-shirt that I have on a tank top. It would bother my OCD. A lot. I am really glad to be getting some new things. I'm tired of the same four shirts and four tank tops I've had for years. Now I can interchange them with some fresh new colors and patterns.
I also took DD to the eye doctor to get new glasses and she found some with octagon-shaped frames. She was okay with the color, but she really liked another color that they come in that they didn't have at the store. It was too late to get a hold of the manufacturer to see if they had any green ones in stock, but he will call in the moring after he gets a hold of them. If the don't have the green ones, she will just get the champagne ones. I really hope they have the green ones. They are so pretty in comparison. They put the champagne ones on hold just in case.
The copay for the exam was $10 and the glasses will run $259 after insurance. I thought they would cost a lot more, so I was happily surprised.
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